For those of us who prefer to stay safe at home, the thought of Black Friday might conjure images of rabid shoppers storming retail locations, enduring a hellish gauntlet in search of deep discounts. The lines, the traffic, the carnal rage bubbling just below the surface, all ready to turn your local Walmart into Thunderdome once the last PlayStation is sold. Despite the harrowing images and horror stories, 2017 was a banner year for retailers.
FBI figures show a record number of shoppers took advantage of sales to pick up... guns.
The FBI received 203,086 requests for background checks following Black Friday, a new single-day record, beating out the previous sales records of 185,713 in 2016, and 185,345 in 2015, both on Black Friday as well. But people can buy more than one firearm per transaction.
The number of background checks is likely lower than the number of guns purchased.
It's a startling figure, one made even more worrisome by the FBI's own admission that they are understaffed and often have to rush to complete background checks within the three-day waiting period. And due to inefficiencies in how crimes make it into the National Instant Criminal Background Check system (NICS), some criminals slip through the cracks.